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A wholesome but rough 100k through some of Arkansas' most beautiful secrets.

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2,137' 651 m


876' 267 m


8,061' 2,457 m


8,027' 2,447 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (31°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

National Park Entry Fee


Using the Buffalo River Trail, Old River Trail, Centerpoint Trail, Chimney Rock Trail, Big Bluff Trail, Sneeds Creek Trail, Hemmed-in Hollow Trail, Horseshoe Bend Trail, and Cecil Cove Loop. Sights include Hemmed In Hollow, Thunder Canyon Falls, Big Bluff and many other waterfalls, spring-fed pools, and caves.

Need to Know

Water levels will be higher in spring and very low in the winter. There are several water crossings, but all are manageable, correspondingly so with the seasons.

Potable water can be found at Kyle's Landing and Steele Creek Campgrounds from March 15- Nov 14. Vault restrooms available year round at these sites and at Erbie Campground (near the boat launch).

Some good places to stash aid and/or nutrition are:

Centerpoint TH : 4.5 mi
HIH Jog (where Hemmed in Hollow trail meets Bench Trail : 13.3 mi / 18 mi / 35.6 mi
Erbie Road (where Bench trail, Erbie Road and Cecil Cove Loop converge) : 22.6 mi / 30.5 mi
Kyle's Landing Campground : 44.1 mi / 56 mi
Camp Orr : 46.5 mi / 54 mi - a BSA camp only accessible with 4WD vehicle
Erbie Campground : 50.2 mi
Steele Creek Campground : 64 mi

Runner Notes

Use extra caution on the Big Bluff Trail out-and-back section, as you'll be on a very narrow, very high bluff.
Footing can be rough and rocky on some of the steeper ascents and descents.


A group run held in October, this 100+ km route explores the Ponca Wilderness and Buffalo National River. With plenty of elevation gain, scenic lookouts, caves, waterfalls and creek crossings, runners will have plenty to enjoy along the way. This route has a little bit of everything including well-traveled dirt paths, roots, loose rocks, shallow water crossings, and stairs.

Directions (distances are approximate):

Start at Ponca Low Water Bridge.
Head North on Old River Trail - 1.35 mi
Left on Chimney Rock Trail - 3.6 mi - "a rugged dirt path with roots and loose rocks"
Right on Centerpoint Trail - 2.7 mi - "dirt path"
Right on Big Big Bluff Trail / Goat Trail - 0.4 mi - a rough and narrow trail on the edge of a bluff - be very cautious
Turn around - 0.4 mi
Right on Centerpoint Trail - 0.9 mi
Left on Sneeds Creek Trail - 3.75 mi - "a well-traveled dirt path"
Right on Hemmed-in Hollow Trail - 2.6 mi - "steep with loose rocks & stairs"
Turn around - 2.4 mi
Right on Bench Trail - 4.75 mi
Right on Erbie Road - 1.2 mi
Left on Cecil Cove Loop - 1.3 mi
Left on Thunder Canyon Falls Trail - 0.5 mi - "challenging, slippery trail with several water crossings"
Turn around - 0.5 mi
Left on Cecil Cove Loop - 3.8 mi
Right on Erbie Road - 0.1 mi
Right on Bench Trail - 4.75 mi
Right on Hemmed-in Hollow Trail - .2 mi
Left on Sneeds Creek Trail - 3.75 mi
Left on Centerpoint Trail - 0.15 mi
Left on Old River Trail - 2 mi
Right on Horseshoe Bend Trail - 1.4 mi
Left on Buffalo River Trail to Erbie Campground - 8.8 mi
Turn around, and follow BRT all the way to Ponca Low Water Bridge - 16.4 mi

Flora & Fauna

The park is home to the state's only elk herd. Ticks, spiders, snakes, and poison ivy are also featured.

History & Background

Buffalo National River was the first designated National River, authorized by Congress on March 1, 1972 for the purpose of preserving this scenic river in a free-flowing condition. Within this park is found an abundance of historic resources including houses, barns, other farm outbuildings, cemeteries, churches, schools, mine and mill ruins, and buildings constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.


Shared By:

M Swank

Trail Ratings

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3 Views Last Month
258 Since Nov 26, 2018
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Triple Falls after a rain.
Nov 14, 2017 near Jasper, AR
Thunder Canyon Falls (Fantasy Falls)
Dec 7, 2017 near Jasper, AR
Looking over the Buffalo River valley from Antenna Pine while waiting for coffee.
Mar 28, 2021 near Jasper, AR
Water crossing on the Old River Trail
Apr 27, 2022 near Jasper, AR
October 2020 On the Buffalo River Trail Crossing Steele Creek.
Jan 7, 2021 near Jasper, AR
Cement river crossing near Erbie Camp ground
Apr 26, 2022 near Jasper, AR



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